“Tapping into a consumers’ memories is one of the most effective ways to connect on an emotional level,” she writes. “But, it’s not just about the “feel-good” factor. Research shows consumers are actually willing to spend more when thinking about the past.”
90s Nostalgia Marketing
Pick the Right Generation
If you can sell your goods and services to Gen Xers, you’re in luck. This group has a real appetite for this type of marketing. Webber even says a study published by Think with Google reports 75% of Gen Xers use YouTube primarily to watch videos that relate to past events
Use the Right Amount
This is about how much retro you can use with your brand. Webber suggests you don’t always need to go all in.
“A common method is taking a modern logo and tweaking it to look weathered. Or even use an established date to highlight the company’s history,” she writes.
Get the Details Right
You need to rely heavily on authenticity. People will warm up to your brand if you don’t mess with their memories by tweaking them too much. You just need to steer clear of what’s copyrighted or give credit where it’s due.
Take Advantage of The Trickle Down
Your can target specific consumers who haven’t lived through a specific era. For example, Millennials might not remember the pre-smartphone era. But they might be fond of the “old tech” styles and music from their parent’s youth.
“Depending on current pop culture, there can be a trickle-down and trickle-up effect.”
Tap into Themes and Images
She also suggests small businesses look beyond specific pop culture references and fashions to tap into broader themes and imagery. Highlighting the design trends (fonts, color schemes) and music trends works.
Don’t Get Stuck in One Era
It’s good to look beyond 90s nostalgia, to not put all of your marketing eggs in that one basket. Webber predicts that while the 90s might be all the rage right now, marketing will shift focus to round the corner into early 2000s nostalgia very soon.
Don’t overcommit resources.
If you ‘re going to reference another brand, make sure you’re doing it respectfully. And it needs to make sense for your product.
“When Jack Daniels marketed its blend of whiskey to commemorate Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday. As it was his drink of choice, the brand piggy-backed on the anniversary in an authentic and effective way.”
Don’t Overo It
If you rely too much on the emotional nostalgia connection, you might lose you message in the mix. The best 90s nostalgia marketing balances tweaking your target audience’s memories with your value proposition.
Decide If It Works for You
“Consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, fashion and beauty can take successful advantage of this approach,” Webber writes. “Although even forward-thinking technology brands are also getting in on the trend. Microsoft jumping on the Stranger Things band wagon. And rumors circulating that Apple is considering a return to its iconic rainbow-hued logo.”
Long story short is you need to do a little research. Check out to see if your competition has used this method.
Mix the Old with The New
This type of marketing works best when you use both the old and the new. Don’t forget to pair your 90s nostalgia marketing campaigns with social media.
Post when you’re target market is online. A little research with tell you what times and days are best.
Webber finished with an encouraging prediction.
“What’s old is new again, and nostalgia is one of 2019’s biggest creative trends. It’s everywhere, which also means it’s not going away any time soon.”